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Watch out, Ireland... Gibraltar are eyeing Euro play-offs, says boss

The newly-recognised association were drawn in the same pool as the Boys in Green for their first qualification campaign.

Gibraltar supporters before a recent friendly with Slovakia on the Algarve.
Gibraltar supporters before a recent friendly with Slovakia on the Algarve.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

GIBRALTAR COACH ALLEN Bula is targeting a play-off place from his side’s UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

They were granted full UEFA membership last May and played their first official friendly against Slovakia in November, earning a 0-0 draw.

Drawn in the same pool as Ireland yesterday, Poland will be Gibraltar’s first competitive opposition when their Group D campaign begins on 7 September.

Awaiting Bula’s side in the pool are Scotland, Ireland, Georgia and three-time European champions Germany.

Despite a testing draw, Bula retains confidence that his side can upset the odds and insists Gibraltar stand a chance of making the finals in France.

“It’s a great draw, a very tough group,” Bula said. “It’s an historic moment and landing Germany in our group, what more could I ask for? I’ve still got the goal I set out, I wanted to get to the play-offs, that hasn’t changed.

“I know it’s a tougher group but that’s what I’m working for now my players know that and the technical team were still on line to try and get to the play-offs and that hasn’t changed.”

Bula warned his side, which contains only a handful of full professionals, about the perils of becoming overawed against some of the continent’s top teams.

“It’s difficult to explain at the moment,” he added. ”I guess the feeling will come when we walk out there but with any game the feeling has got to go within 30 or 60 seconds, if not you could get punished.

“I’ll savour it when I walk out into the arena, that feeling.”

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